Elisabeth Tova Bailey was bedridden, convalescing from serious illness. Her little 2010 book, “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating,” begins when a visitor finds a snail during a woodland walk, pots up some violets from the lawn, adds the snail and sets the whole thing down by the patient’s bedside.

Marc Hamer has had a long relationship with another secretive, mostly hidden creature. Mr. Hamer, an Englishman who has lived for more than 30 years in Wales, made his living as a gardener and mole-catcher, a traditional skill sought by gardeners and farmers who regard the animals as nuisance wildlife, because of the wobbly ground and invitation to crop loss that their tunnels and molehills create.

“H Is for Hawk.” There, beside it on my shelf, is Ms. Renkl’s own “Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss,” in which she sorts through the death of her mother and then her mother-in-law, informed by her own connection to the natural world.

Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” is the next book on the shelf. “Even a wounded world is feeding us,” Ms. Kimmerer reminds me. “Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”

So many more voices call out from the bookshelves. Sy Montgomery has written dozens of books about animals for adults and children, including, in 2018, “How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals.”

“Knowing someone who belongs to another species can enlarge your soul in surprising ways,” Ms. Montgomery says at the start.

One of the 13 animals is a 750-pound pet pig, who “taught us how to love,” she writes. “How to love what life gives you. Even when life gives you slops.”

Bernd Heinrich, the University of Vermont professor emeritus of biology. So many things I have observed, but had no words or explanation for, have been illuminated by his writing: the genius of ravens, the force that is animal migration, how a bird weighing only as much as two pennies (the golden-crowned kinglet) can survive a Northern winter.

A Way to Garden, and a book of the same name.

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